Hans Gerschwiler, 96, of Pinehurst North Carolina passed away peacefully surrounded by family, September 27th at FirstHealth Hospice House.
Born near Zurich, Switzerland on June 20th, 1921, the son of Johann and Ida Rosa Gerschwiler.
Hans was a well known and beloved figure skater and coach. Hans first began his skating career in 1934 at the age of 13. Hans was recruited by his uncles Jacques and Arnold Gerschwiler to train in the new methods of figure skating they were developing.
Over the years, Hans emerged as a dominant force in the international figure skating community.
In 1947 Hans won gold at the European Championships in Davos Switzerland and gold at the World Championships in Stockholm Sweden. In 1948 Hans won the silver medal in the Olympic games in St. Moritz Switzerland to Dick Button who won the gold medal for the United States. Hans and Dick remained lifelong friends.
Hans was the first Swiss to have won an Olympic medal in figure skating and held the record for 58 years until 2006.
After Hans won Silver in the 1948 Olympics he turned Pro and moved to Ontario Canada where he met his future bride, Nancy Jane Clarke of Toronto. Hans and Nancy were married in August 1953 and just celebrated their 64th anniversary.
At the age of 27, Hans began his career as a skating coach in Schumacher, Ontario. He continued to coach for 42 years in both Canada and the United states until his retirement in 1990.
Hans and Nancy had 5 children, Linda Sue Labbett (Brian Labbett). Geoffery Gerschwiler, Nancy Jill Gerschwiler-Steck (Paul Steck), David Gerschwiler (pre-deceased), Hans Peter Gerschwiler (Miriam Garcia Gerschwiler). Grandfather to Nick Labbett, Trishia Botting (Kevin Botting), Megan Farrell (Mark Farrell Jr.), Julia Steck, Bradley Gerschwiler (Aleisha Ashe), Brian Steck, Gabrielle Gerschwiler, Hans Anthony Gerschwiler. Great Grandfather to Wesley and Ella Botting.
Funeral services will be private.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com